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05 November 2014

REVIEW ESSAY: Allison Tirres's review of Kristin A. Collins, "Illegitimate Borders: Jus Sanguinis Citizenship and the Legal Construction of Family, Race, and Nation" (2014)

  
Allison Tirres's review of Kristin A. Collins, "Illegitimate Borders: Jus Sanguinis Citizenship and the Legal Construction of Family, Race, and Nation" , appeared in Volume 123 of the Yale Law Journal (2014)

 from Tirres's essay:
















 In her article “Illegitimate Borders: Jus Sanguinis Citizenship and the Legal Construction of Family, Race, and Nation,” Kristin Collins looks in depth at the origins, interpretations, and practices of derivative citizenship over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In doing so, she not only systematically destroys the simplistic argument provided by the INS in the Nguyen case, but also reveals the deeply racialized nature of jus sanguinis. She demonstrates that throughout much of our history, derivative citizenship was moored in intertwined visions of women’s subordinate place in the family and of nonwhite persons’ subordinate place in the polity. Courts, agencies, administrators and consular officials across decades found ways to interpret and apply the law of derivative citizenship to favor white children over nonwhite children. Sometimes these efforts were explicit but other times they were hidden. It takes a skilled and capable historian like Collins to be able to dig beneath the surface of decades of government documents and court records and put the pieces of the jus sanguinis puzzle together.

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